Recent research has established that 90% of the cells in our bodies are not our own. They belong to microbes — bacteria and other microscopic creatures, collectively known as our microbiome.
Like good guests who help with cooking and clean-up, many of these microbes perform valuable, not to say, essential services, providing enzymes for digestion, vitamins, anti-inflammatory agents and other compounds that we need but cannot produce ourselves. There may be some bad guys among them — microorganisms such as E. coli that we usually think of as pathogens — but in a healthy body, they seem to do no harm.
In fact, our microbiomes give us an exponentially larger gene pool to work with to perform necessary bodily functions. And like our DNA itself, our microbiomes are unique to us.
Not only is the emerging science around this subject fascinating, but it is upending traditional ideas of sickness and health.
Read The Ecosystem Within to learn about your microbiome and what you can do to keep it (and yourself) fit.